MSB brainstorming

14 November 2006

Paul Klein: Risk Taking (E)

Risiken eingehen.

Art "Vermittler" and former gallerist Paul Klein writes about mid-career artists and risk taking in his newest "Art Letter".

"Risk-taking. ... [I'm ] going to deal solely with risk-taking aesthetically.

You know, like what we see in the work of Phyllis Bramson. So many artists, when they get to be 50, start doing “greatest hits.” Seems like a flight to safety. Less controversy. Less imagination too. It is refreshing to see someone take risks. Maybe this is something that happens when artists pass additional milestones, like turning 60 or 65 or older, those pent up creative juices kick in and there is less care for the judgment of society and more appreciation of honesty; just putting in out there. Besides Phyllis, look at Vera Klement and William Conger who are making the strongest work ever.

What a great new exhibition Phyllis Bramson (her site) has at Carl Hammer (newer work). This is brave art in which she reveals the influence and persona of her alter ego - Lady Ying-Ying - who playfully and provocatively invades, alters, embellishes and subverts her art. These are charming vignettes; physical, shrine-like reliquaries, full of compulsion, and strange and insistent oddities. We are watching someone else’s dream, in rich, textural color. I applaud the bravery and the vulnerableness and am challenged to be brave and vulnerable myself."

More at: The Art Letter


Anonymous said...

"mid -career" das überhaupt erlaubt heutzutag in der schweiz?

Trailer Star said...

'mid-career' has had a lot of airing in Nottingham as a term lately and applied to 50 year olds and up too. I look to be starting again at approaching 50 so my mid-career will be around 80:-)

Is there a stage after mid-career? I remember Picasso 'late works' etc so 'late-career'? Hopefully I will not begin that stage until I in nineties ;-)

rattlebrained said...

Translating anonymous on the web gave me: " mid-career " ......... is this actually allowed heutzutag in Switzerland?

Assuming “heutzutag” means something like “nowadays” (?), it's a fact that I can't think of ever having heard that term or concept here in Switzerland. So I'm wondering if it's because art is not seen as a career or, if it has more to do with the age factor, or both, or what? In any case it seems a very anglo-saxon categorization.

Mark Staff Brandl said...

I think it is VERY much seen as a career --- especially in the Germanophone world --- in Europe. EVEN more so than in the US --- but in Europena terms --- that means a career a la bureaucrats, a career where most of all one must avoid stepping on any toes. I read that anonymous comment as suggesting, humorously, that only "young" artists, fresh meat, is wanted nowadays in Switzerland.

rattlebrained said...

Well I was commenting on the idea of mid-career more than the one of career. It doesn't seem to be very much part of the way quite a few artists I know here, who have a French culture, look at their existence as artists. I know many who would feel contempt at the whole idea of career in the first place, so there is no mid to be talked about. However it must be said that they are mostly within, or beyond, their mid-careers which made me ask myself if it had more to do with the French culture or the age group?
Probably a bit of both as they say, but with that in mind, it seemed that anonymous' comment could also be a criticism of the idea of mid-career.

But it could also be that if I knew how to read German, I would not have considered it that way.

Mark Staff Brandl said...

Hi Steve,
I think it is definitely a francophone vs. germanophone thing! I never realized that. German-speakers in Switz. are DEFINITELY highly career minded and speak in those terms. I thought the whole of Switz. was Yuppie-wannabe-bureaucratic in that way. I guess the Rostigraben is multi-faceted! VERY interesting. I'm pretty sure that the anonymous person's comments were, as I said, teasing about artists not allowed to age.

So --- anonymous one, please come to our help and tell us if you meant that!

Anonymous said...

jawohl. künstler (bzw. künstlerinnen) dürfen nicht älter werden. z.b.schau mal hier

Anonymous said...

Mark Staff Brandl said...

In English: he (or she) said " Yes, artists are not allowed to get older, look at this link" and then the link is in the next comment, for some reason. I checked it and it is a list of art awards in German, all of which designate the artists must be 40 or younger, often much much younger. This, for international readers, is typical of Switzerland and Germany and not of the US, where such overt Ageism is illegal, although still secretely practiced.

max (alex Meszmer) said...

I guess that is due to some romantic thinking, that ideal art is done out of the "Sturm und Drang" days of an artist. Mid career would be then sth., that only the "Goethe" or "Picasso" characters will finally reach - the good will have died anyway, and the few that will make it till their older days, either decided to do a "real" job or finally got some success to ba able to survive...

In a way the german art education changed a lot, and went back into the old forms of academic style "Klassen" with their "Meister"teacher - Immendorf and others practiced that especially in Düsseldorf, spreading the news, that they are teaching like the old masters in renaissance and baroque times, with their students copying them, till they can do a more or less good Immendorff.

I got bored after some years in germany, that you could exactly define the Kunstakademie, that someone studied from the work he/she did. And it occurs to me, that switzerland is following that path.